Some Persons Aiming To Tarnish My Image, Says Jonathan

File Photo

Nigeria’s immediate past President Goodluck Jonathan on Sunday said some persons have launched a campaign aimed at tarnishing his image.

On his official Facebook page, the former President posted a disclaimer that a campaign of calumny has been launched against him by some persons who according to him are faceless and some identified.

“It has been brought to my attention that while I am away promoting democracy in Sierra Leone, a campaign will be unleashed against me to falsely impugn my name using both faceless and identified persons,” his post read.

The former President’s name has recently been mentioned in the media concerning some certain issues.

READ ALSO: PDP Has No Links With Cambridge Analytica, Election Manipulation – Fani-Kayode

An ex-employee of a UK-based company, Cambridge Analytica had claimed that the firm, influenced by an ally of former President Jonathan, interfered in Nigeria’s 2015 elections.

Cambridge Analytica has earlier been accused of obtaining data of Facebook users for election manipulation, an issue which has raised specks of dust in various countries, including Nigeria.

The ex-employee of Cambridge Analytica claimed that the firm interfered in Nigeria’s 2015 elections by hiring hackers to dig information about President Muhammadu Buhari who was a candidate of the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC).

The whistle-blower in an interview with Guardian UK did not reveal the identity of the person who paid Cambridge Analytica for its services but described him as a Nigerian businessman who wanted to ensure former President Goodluck Jonathan’s re-election.

Also in Nigeria, Jonathan’s administration has been in the news over alleged funds mismanagement.

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo had claimed that the former President’s administration shared about N150 billion before the 2015 elections.

Professor Osinbajo made the allegations on Monday, last week while speaking on issues of corruption and past failures of governments at the 7th Presidential Quarterly Business Forum in Abuja.

In his disclaimer on Sunday, Jonathan did not mention names of the persons he claimed are campaigning to tarnish his image. He, however, emphasised that his political ideals of disdain for bloodletting and falsehood remain.

“When I was in power I said my ambition is not worth the blood of any Nigerian. Even out of power, I continue to hold that belief.

“What I will say, however, is that no matter how far and fast falsehood has traveled, it must eventually be overtaken by the truth. GEJ,” his post read.

Jonathan has since not reacted to the claims by Buhari’s administration or the allegations raised in the Guardian UK interview.

His aide, Reno Omokri in an interview on Channels Television’s Programme Programme, Politics Today, however, countered claims by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo. He said the allegations are “completely false”.

Alleged N26m Fraud: Fani-Kayode’s Trial Adjourned Till April 25

Fani-Kayode, EFCC ArrestsThe non-availability of prosecution witnesses stalled the trial of the former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode, by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Mr Fani-Kayode, who was also the Director of Media and Publicity of the campaign team for former President Goodluck Jonathan during the 2015 election, is being prosecuted by the Federal Government over allegation of 26 million Naira fraud allegedly perpetuated during the campaign.

He was alleged to have illegally received 26 million Naira from former National Security Adviser, Colonel Sambo Dasuki, to organise media campaign for former President Jonathan’s re-election bid.

At a resumed hearing, the EFCC lawyer, Mr Johnson Ojogbane, expressed surprise over the absence of the prosecution witness in court.

He subsequently asked the court for an adjournment to enable him put his house in order.

However, Mr Ojogbane did not adduce any reason before the court as to why the prosecution witness who was to lead evidence against Mr Fani-Kayode was not in court.

In view of the development, Counsel to the former Minister, Mr Ahmed Raji, did not oppose to the application for adjournment.

Justice Tsoho adjourned the case till April 25, 2017 for the prosecution to open its case.

PDP Crisis: Sheriff Accuses Makarfi Of Frustrating Peace

PDP Crisis: Sheriff Accuses Makarfi Of Frustrating Peace
Mr Cairo Ojougboh

The National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Ali Modu Sheriff, has accused his political rival, Senator Ahmed Makarfi of frustrating reconciliation efforts brokered by former President Goodluck Jonathan.

Briefing journalists in Abuja, Senator Sheriff’s Deputy, Mr Cairo Ojougboh, said the PDP National Working Committee has been talking to the leaders of the party to fix a date for a convention.

According to Mr Ojougboh, the PDP would go on with the convention even as Senator Makarfi’s group awaits judgement from the Supreme Court on the matter.

“The National Working Committee has adopted the position of the reconciliation committee as a working document and a working paper, and it’s not exhaustive.

“Any organ of the party or any person in the party that has any position to submit to the National Working Committee will also be studied.

“If Makarfi and his group feel that they don’t want political settlement and that they want to wait for the Supreme Court, it is their choice.

“But the party cannot remain stagnant waiting for them, so the party must continue.

“When they get to the Supreme Court and they come back, then we will know how to cross that bridge when we get there.

“All organs and 90% of the populace of the PDP including stakeholders have queued into the issue of reconciliation and convention, and the convention must hold,” he said.

Mr Dayo Adeyeye
Mr Dayo Adeyeye

However, spokesman for the Makarfi-led Caretaker Committee, Mr Dayo Adeyeye, insisted that Senator Sheriff has been the one frustrating the peace efforts.

“As far as we are concerned, that agreement states clearly that all parties should resign then our lawyers will meet to draw up an agreement that we can present to the Supreme Court as a voluntary judgement that we have fully agreed to before the court.

“This can provide both legal and political solution to the crisis, but Sheriff has rejected that,” Mr Adeyeye said.

Former President Jonathan and other leaders of the PDP have urged the warring factions to settle their dispute out of court.

PDP Ministers Meet With Jonathan Over Party’s Leadership Tussle

PDP Ministers Meet With Goodluck JonathanAs the leadership crisis rocking the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) continues to linger, former President Goodluck Jonathan has played host to major stakeholders in the party.

This time, it is the turn of the Forum of Former Ministers of the PDP to visit the former president in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.

The Chairman of the forum and a former Minister of Special Duties, Mr Kabiru Turaki, briefed reporters shortly after their meeting with Dr. Jonathan.

He maintained that forum will challenge the judgment of the Court of Appeal in Port Harcourt, which affirmed Senator Ali Modu Sheriff as the National Chairman of the PDP.

“I am aware that an appeal has been lodged against the judgment of the Court of Appeal, Port Harcourt Division yesterday.

“With the notice of that appeal, I’m also aware that an application for injunction has been filled.

“So the position of the law in situations like this is that unless that application is taken and decided one way or the other that there is an interim stay and interim injunction.

“And so with that therefore, the caretaker committee continues as the organ that is legally charged with propelling the affairs of this party,” he said.

We Are Friends

Mr Kabiru opined that the leadership crisis rocking the party was not uncommon in a democratic setting.

He, however, noted that the Supreme Court was the final arbiter on all disputes and stated optimism that the party would overcome its crisis ahead of the 2019 general elections.

“This is not a war; this is a simple ordinary family feud within the PDP family.

“Even when we allow the court or we get to the point where the Supreme Court will have to make a pronouncement one way or the other, quite literally, we will still need each other.

“We are friends, we are family, we are brothers and sisters.

“So at the end of the day, even between the tongue and the teeth, there could be tense moments but it still does not mean that there will not be reconciliation between them,” the former minister said.

Absence of EFCC Counsel Stalls Trial Of Jonathan’s Aide

Judges, Court, Judges, Court, Absence of EFCC Counsel Stalls Trial Of Jonathan's AideThe trial of Waripamo-Owei Emmanuel Dudafa, the former Special Assistant on Domestic Affairs to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, could not go on Tuesday at the Federal High Court in Lagos, owing to the absence of the EFCC’s counsel, Mr Rotimi Oyedepo.

Presiding judge, Justice Muhammad Idris, told the court that he received a letter from the EFCC counsel seeking for an adjournment.

In the letter, Mr Oyedepo asked the court to grant the adjournment to enable him attend to an appeal filed by Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mr Ricky Tarfa against the commission

Counsel to Mr Dudafa, Gboyega Oyewole, did not object to the request for an adjournment. He however informed the court that he was surprised that his client was not present in court.

Upon enquiry from the prison’s officials, Mr Oyewole said he was told that Dudafa is seriously sick.

He complained about the EFCC treatment of his client.

Justice Mohammed Idris has granted the prosecutor’s application and adjourned the matter till Thursday November 10, for the continuation of the defendants’ trial.

Dudafa and one Iwejuo Joseph Nna, are standing trial before Justice Mohammed Idris on alleged 5.1 billion naira fraud.

In the first count, the defendants on or about June 11, 2013 in Lagos allegedly conspired amongst themselves to conceal the sum of 1.667 billion Naira said to be the proceeds of crime.

The Offence was said to be contrary to Section 18(a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) (Amendment) Act, 2012 and punishable under Section 17(a) of the same Act.

In the other charges, Mr Waripamo-Owei also allegedly used six companies – Seagate Property Development and Investment Limited, Avalon Global Property Development Company Limited, Ebiwise Resources, Pluto Property and Investment Company, Rotato Interlink Services and De Jakes Fast Food and Restaurant Nigeria Limited  – to conceal varying sums of money between June 2013 and April 2016.

The EFCC’s Prosecuting Counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, had listed 21 witnesses to testify against the defendants, including Representatives of some banks.

Buhari Bags Leadership Award, Restates Commitment To Democracy

Muhammadu Buhari, Leadership Award, DemocracyPresident Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday called on the political class to build on the outcome of the 2015 presidential elections to nurture Nigeria’s democratic process.

The President made the call at a ceremony in Abuja, where he received the “Leadership 2015 Man of the Year Award” organised by the Leadership Group.

Former President Goodluck Jonathan and the former Chairman of INEC, Professor Attahiru Jega, were among other awardees at the event.

President Buhari asked the award winners to remain committed to good behaviour in their endeavours.

He said that this would enable them justify their recognition, which he said should serve as an inspiration to other Nigerians.

The award was as a result of the phone call made by Dr. Jonathan, conceding defeat to President Buhari in the 2015 general elections.

The poll was the first in the history of Nigeria where an incumbent president would be defeated in a keenly contested election.

On his part, former President Abdulsalam Abubakar said it could not have been easy if the major players had resisted the outcome of the poll.

In separate remarks, the Chairman of the Leadership Group, Sam Nda-Isaiah and the Akwa Ibom State Governor, Udom Emmanuel, paid tribute to the major players.

Niger Delta Avengers Deny Negotiating With FG

Niger Delta Avengers, militant groupThe Niger Delta Avengers have denied agreeing to enter into a dialogue with the Federal Government.

A statement issued by the self-acclaimed spokesman for the dialogue group, Mr Ballantyne Agiri, claimed that the group had agreed to enter into dialogue with the government.

However, the Avengers, in a tweet by their spokesperson, Mudoch Agbinibo, said that Mr Agiri’s claim was a fabrication.

The militant group added that they do not know Agiri and that he cannot say that he was speaking on their behalf.

Earlier, another group, Reformed Niger Delta Avengers (RNDA) had purportedly announced its split from the Avengers.

The RNDA said they resolved to split after former President Goodluck Jonathan appealed to them to stop the attacks on oil installations in Nigeria’s South-South region.

In a statement signed by one Cynthia White, they said that Nigeria would be amazed when they expose the identities of their leaders and sponsors.

In a swift reaction to the claim, the Avengers took to their new twitter handle to announce that the RNDA had never been part of them.

The Niger Delta Avengers is a militant group that has claimed responsibilities for a chain of attacks on Nigeria’s oil pipelines which have not only affected the nation’s economy negatively, but also neighbouring countries in West Africa.

Despite appeals from various stakeholders in Nigeria and other foreign bodies, the group has refused to dialogue with the Federal Government.

Avengers Debunk Split Rumours

Reformed Niger Delta Avengers, militansA militant group, Niger Delta Avengers, has dissociated itself from a group which claims it broke away from it.

The Avengers took to their new twitter handle on Saturday to announce that the new group, Reformed Niger Delta Avengers (RNDA), had never been part of them.

A tweet on their handle read:

The disclaimer comes after the RNDA said that it had decided to split from the Avengers after former President Goodluck Jonathan appealed to them to stop the attacks on oil installations in Nigeria’s South-South region.

In a statement signed by one Cynthia White, they said that Nigeria would be amazed when they expose the identities of their leaders and sponsors.

Part of the statement read: “We have decided to join the MEND Aaron Team 2 peace initiative through the clearing house of Niger Delta Dialogue and Contact Group (NDDCG) headed by HRH King Alfred Diette-Spiff.

“We will also cooperate with the government by exposing the identities of our comrades who remain stubborn in their insistence to continue attacks.

“For example, it will shock the nation to know the Jekyll and Hyde personality behind the pseudonym ‘Brigadier General Murdoch Aginibo’ and our sponsors.”

The Niger Delta Avengers is a militant group that has claimed responsibilities for a chain of attacks on Nigeria’s oil pipelines which have not only affected the nation’s economy negatively, but also neighbouring countries in West Africa.

In spite of appeal from various stakeholders in Nigeria and other foreign bodies, the group has refused to dialogue with the Federal Government.

Court To Hear NBA’s Suit Challenging NDDC Boss Removal On July 5

Court on NDDC boss Bassey Dan Abia removal A Federal High Court in Akwa Ibom State will on July 05 hear a case filed by the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), challenging the removal of Bassey Dan Abia as Managing Director of Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).

The lawyers association is also questioning the replacement of the NDDC boss with Mrs Ibim Semenitari.

Honourable Justice F. Riman presiding over the case had adjourned hearing till July to ensure both parties had enough time to respond to the issues raised.

The Akwa Ibom State chapter of the NBA is asking the court to nullify the removal of Mr Abia as MD of the NDDC and his replacement with Mrs Semenitari by President Mohammadu Buhari.

It further sought the appointment of an indigene of Akwa Ibom State to complete the tenure of the state on the board of the body.

Mr Abia was appointed MD of the NDDC in 2013 by former President Goodluck Jonathan.

His appointment was terminated by President Muhammadu Buhari in 2015 before the end of a five-year tenure.

EFCC Charges Jonathan’s Aide, Waripamo-Owei

EFCC, Dudafa Waripamo-Owei, Goodluck JonathanThe Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has filed a 23-count charge against the Senior Special Assistant on Domestic Affairs to former President Goodluck Jonathan, Dudafa Waripamo-Owei.

Channels Television’s judiciary correspondent, Shola Soyele, who obtained a copy of the charge, said that Mr Waripamo-Owei was charged alongside one Iwejuo Joseph Nna, also known at various times as Taiwo Ebenezer and Olugbenga Isaiah.

In the first count, the defendants on or about June 11, 2013 in Lagos allegedly conspired amongst themselves to conceal the sum of 1.667 billion Naira said to be the proceeds of crime.

The Offence was said to be contrary to Section 18(a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) (Amendment) Act, 2012 and punishable under Section 17(a) of the same Act.

In the other charges, Mr Waripamo-Owei also allegedly used six companies – Seagate Property Development and Investment Limited, Avalon Global Property Development Company Limited, Ebiwise Resources, Pluto Property and Investment Company, Rotato Interlink Services and De Jakes Fast Food and Restaurant Nigeria Limited  – to conceal varying sums of money between June 2013 and April 2016.

The EFCC’s Prosecuting Counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, had listed 21 witnesses to testify against the defendants, including Representatives of some banks.

The accused have been scheduled for arraignment on Wednesday before Justice Mohammed Idris of the Federal High Court in Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial capital.

Immigration Recruitment Exercise: Moro’s Trial Continues As Paradang Testifies

immigration stampede victimsThe Federal Government has opened its case against the former Minister of Interior, Mr Abba Moro, who is standing trial for allegedly swindling Nigerian applicants who applied for jobs at the Nigeria Immigration Service in 2014.

At the resumed trial in Abuja on Friday, the prosecutor, Aliyu Yusuf, called his first witness, a former Comptroller General of Immigration, Mr David Paradang who denied authorising the recruitment exercise that claimed 16 lives with 165 others injured.

He told the court that the Federal Government, under former President Goodluck Jonathan, waded into the exercise by authorising the issuance of employment letters to families of the 15 persons who lost their lives.

Mr Paradang, however, said that the employment letters were later withdrawn by the Ministry of Interior.

Although the prosecutor walked out of the court as soon as the trial was adjourned to July 1, lawyers to the defendants claimed that their clients were not culpable.

Edwin Clark Advocates National Conference Implementation

Edwin ClarkFormer Minister of Information, Edwin Clark, has called on the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration to implement the resolutions of the 2014 National Conference.

The former Minister made the appeal on Monday at a press conference on the state of the nation and the way forward in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.

He expressed the view that the 600 resolutions from the conference dealt with issues of true federalism which he said provided solutions to the current financial situation that saw various states depend on the bailout to pay salaries.

Mr Clark appealed to the Federal Government to study the resolutions and take steps to implement the recommendations with a view to moving Nigeria forward.

Nigeria’s former Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Professor Ibrahim Gambari, had also recently advised to the government to consider the report of the National Conference constituted by former President Goodluck Jonathan.

Professor Gambari who was speaking at a forum, said that government is a continuum and as such, the Federal Government needs to examine the report before discarding it.

He explained that it was a waste of human and material resources for the government to ignore the resolution of 492 Nigerians.